Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.
The United States on Monday accused China of a global hacking campaign that included a massive hack of the Microsoft Exchange email server software earlier this year. The Biden administration, along with NATO, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada, blamed China's Ministry of State Security for using criminal contract hackers, orchestrating ransomware attacks and other cyber threats on Beijing’s behalf. Despite the accusation, the announcement does not include concrete punitive steps against the Chinese government, such as sanctions or other measures levied against Russia over the SolarWinds hack.
More than 100,000 people took to the streets across France over the weekend to protest the government’s new COVID-19 vaccination strategy, which will restrict access to cafés, movie theaters and long-distance trains, among other locations for the unvaccinated. President Emmanuel Macron’s tough strategy is part of an effort to push people to get vaccinated amid rising infections from the delta variant. The protesters included a range of far-right and the far-left groups. Some demonstrators wore yellow stars and compared Macron’s policy to the Nazi persecution of Jews during World War II, leading to widespread outrage.
The United Kingdom on Monday lifted nearly all coronavirus restrictions, in what has been dubbed “Freedom Day,” despite the country facing a growing number of infections. After more than a year of lockdowns, mask mandates, work-from-home guidance and social distancing rules, all restrictions ended along with other limits. With the lifting of restrictions, Chris Whitty, the UK's chief medical officer, warned a COVID-19 surge could get Britain into "trouble surprisingly fast."
The conflict in northern Ethiopia took another turn last week as Tigrayan rebels pushed into the neighboring Amhara region on Tuesday. Now, the Ethiopian government says it's ending a ceasefire and going on the offensive. It is a complex chessboard with quickly moving pieces.
Michelle Gavin, a senior fellow for Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, joined The World's host Carol Hills to help make sense of the unfolding situation.
Maite Gomez-Rejón, the founder of Art Bites, uses art from different eras of history to inspire her culinary projects and give visitors of her gallery a sensory experience.
The Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay is set for hosting the canoeing and rowing events at the Olympics, but not before a major clean-up of 14 tons of oysters that attached to floats intended to stop waves from bouncing back across the water and onto the rowers. The cost of cleaning up the 3.4 mile route from shellfish, which involved divers or dragging equipment to shore, was about $1.2 million! What type of oysters you might ask? They were Magaki oysters, which are a hugely popular delicacy during the winter in Japan.
Devastating floods in western Germany and Belgium have left at least 120 people dead and more than 1,300 others missing. And, Cuba is a world leader in medicine, and has quickly developed its own promising COVID-19 vaccine. About a quarter of the population has received at least one dose. Also, we hear from Brazilian musician Rodrigo Amarante about “Drama,” his second solo album as well as his 25-year career in music.